How three novelists depict the reality of incarceration
Our family reunion in Argentina looked like something straight out of one of Jesus’ parables.
John Edgar Wideman counters the official record of Emmett Till’s father with a more empathetic version.
As we make laws and try to adjudicate justice, we often lose sight of the human faces affected.
A justice system oriented mainly toward punishing offenders can have tragic consequences.
Marie Gottschalk describes an American penal system that has all but abandoned any real attempt to rehabilitate its inmates.
Joshua Dubler shows up at a maximum-security prison as a budding ethnographer. He becomes a man captured by friendships.
Experts say mentoring works best one on one. But Lewis Haley found such a need for mentors that he bent the rules.
In a recent interview with the Century, Michelle Alexander, the civil rights lawyer and author of The New Jim Crow, wonders about the stigma in many churches attached to people who have been recently released from prisons. “The deep irony,” she says,” is that the very folks who ought to be the most sensitive to the demonization of the ‘despised,’ the prisoners, have been complicit and silent.” But the kinds of conversations that Alexander’s book seems to demand are very difficult to have--in churches and outside them.
Americans seem to relish putting their fellow citizens behind bars. Lately, some conservatives have begun to see this as a problem.
"The U.S has created a vast legal system for racial and social control, unprecedented in world history. Yet we claim to be colorblind."
The Geneva Convention forbids excessive use of solitary confinement. Yet the U.S. persists in using it as punishment.